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This Week's Nanny State Update
Nannies have been very busy controlling, regulating, and restricting individuals this week. We’ve highlighted several state-sponsored efforts to control and coerce individuals:
• Right in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland has decided to cast its ire on a favorite party snack: cheese. In this CoGC holiday special, we report the latest push from nanny-staters across the pond who are attempting to regulate cheese. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has decided to ban television ads for cheese before 9 pm, arguing this will aid in curbing child obesity.
• Washington D.C. Councilman Jack Evans is eyeing the explosion of food trucks as a new boon to District coffers. Evans claims food trucks enjoy an “unfair advantage” over brick-and-mortar establishments since they are not subject to the District’s 10 percent food sales tax. Instead, the councilman wants to impose a progressive tax on the successful food vendors, effectively punishing inventive epicurean entrepreneurs. His proposal could receive its first hearing before the D.C. Council in April. This move if passed is sure to cost venders and patrons alike.
• Failing to pass a budget for 1052 days, the US Senate has been engrossed in overtaking states’ Constitutional responsibilities instead of fulfilling their own. Under provisions passed in the Senate’s Highway Bill Wednesday, the power of federal funding would enforce minimum driving ages, implement strict licensing processes, and call for more constraints on night driving for adolescents across the country.
• Walking is next on the list of things to control in DC. The Pedestrian Safety Committee of the Council for Court Excellence, an advocacy group, is urging DC officials to consider fining pedestrians who use electronic devices such as iPods or cell phones while crossing the street.
• Making headlines this week, a couple in the small town of Wausau, Wisconsin are being forced out of their home. The homeowners are in a difficult situation as they find themselves in violation of the town’s ordinance which limits households to three cats, rabbits, and gerbils or two dogs, forcing them to pick between getting rid of their pets or uproot.
• Spending $54 million of taxpayer dollars, the Obama administration announced on Thursday plans to launch an anti-smoking campaign called “Tips from Former Smokers”. The twelve week campaign intends on using graphic spots of the consequences smoking causes to ‘educate’ and persuade adults to quit.
It wasn’t all bad luck for consumers this week:
• The state of Washington is auctioning off the previously government-run alcohol and liquor stores. The move is expected to increase state revenues from the auction, liquor licenses, and increases in sales from distributers.
• The USDA plans to modernize its poultry inspection program by privatizing much of the operation. The plan, which reduces costs for taxpayers, will be implemented after pilot programs were successful in 2011.